Last week I was discussing marketing measurements tools with a marketing manager in the services industry. He asked me an interesting question “Do you think having a marketing dashboard is important?” It is no secret that measuring marketing ROI and effectiveness is important to access how your campaigns are going. But, the question really made me think as what should be the elements (you want to track) to make the marketing dashboard really effective.
Please keep in mind that every business is different, so you will need to prioritise and customise the measurements that are truly important. What I have outlined here can be a good place to start thinking of different measurements you would want to see on your marketing dashboard.
Strategic high-level measurements:
- Aggregate marketing index depicting overall marketing success
- Quantifiable ROI on marketing plans
- Identification of what objectives are doing better than expected
- Identification of what objectives aren’t being met
Detailed tactical measurements:
- Performance of individual marketing activities like advertisements, direct mail and public relations campaigns
- Demonstration of how each activity contributes to marketing objectives
- Pinpoint problem areas at the tactical level
Some customised reporting:
- Allocation of budget versus projections
- Source of qualified leads by media type
- Comparison of Web downloads versus Web hits
- Cost per positive, neutral or negative press mention
There are two primary benefits of using a well defined marketing dashboard. One, the ability of the marketing team members to make informed decisions based on quantifiable data that will allow them to allocate ongoing and new resources depending on what is working versus what is not. The dashboard should also aid the communication of marketing objectives and results – making sure that the team is in sync across the organization, and that decision makers and managers are provided regular, related data on their progress toward key objectives.
I strongly believe that a tool like the dashboard can provide many views into the marketing function, from the big picture of how it is achieving its goals, to a detailed view of how each individual campaign or activity is performing. You can generate specialised internal reports which can compare the effectiveness of cross company activities and display key metrics such as overall campaign ROI, cost per sale, cost per lead, and so forth.
It is important to note that no software tool alone will solve the issue of marketing accountability. Effective dashboards begin with strategic analysis that includes goal setting and alignment of the marketing strategy with business strategy. Organizational discipline and rigor is required for any measurement tool to be effective over the long term.